Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wesley So shines again

Thursday, October 31, 2013

THE 17th Unive Chess Tournament was held last Oct. 18-26 in Hoogeveen, Netherlands. The Crown Group featured two talented juniors against two experienced players in a double round robin event.
The players are Michael Adams (2753 England), Loek Van Wely (2693 Netherlands), Robin van Kampen (2607 Netherlands) and Wesley So (2706).
Wesley was “So” dominant that he practically won this prestigious tournament at the halfway point with two wins and a draw. He defeated van Wely twice, drew both his games against the top seeded Adams and had a win and a draw against van Kampen.
Wesley had a performance rating of 2877 and gained 13 Elo points.
It will be recalled that he won the World University Championship in Russia last August over an elite field that included Li Chao, Evgeny Aleekseev and Dmitry Andreikin all rated over 2700.
He also figured in a three-way tie in the Reykjavic open with Pavel Eljanov and Amin Baseem early this year.
Last May, Wesley won the Standard and Blitz events in the Calgary International chess classic.
June 2013 was a big surprise as Wesley snared three titles--US Championship, US National Open and US Blitz championship, in a span of four days from June 6 to 9 at the 2013 Las Vegas International Chess Festival.
His next major tournaments will be the Pan-American Team Chess Championship and the A group in Tata Steel.
The 76th Tata Steel (formerly Corus), scheduled on Jan. 10-26 next year in Wijk Aan Zee, Netherlands is now considered the most prestigious tournament in the calendar as Linares and Melody Amber have been cancelled. To be invited to the A group is like getting an invitation to the White House and it means “you have arrived.”
The Pan-American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship (“World Series of College Chess”) is the foremost intercollegiate team chess championship in the Americas and will take place this Dec. 27–30, at Texas Tech University.
Wesley is a sophomore at Webster University (2013 U.S. College Chess Team National Champion) in Saint Louis, Missouri taking up Business and Finance.
Wesley’s family migrated to Canada two years ago and he is now based there. Has he changed his citizenship? In the Las Vegas tournament he was classified as from Canada.
If you will recall, our top lady player, Fil-Aussie mestisa Arianne Caoli transferred to Australia. She has, since then, played for Australia in the last two Olympiads.
Tournaments. Four Central Squares Strike Open chess tournament has two events--Kiddies and Open.
The Kiddies (14 years and Under) will start tomorrow at 9:15 a.m. at the Robinson Cyber gate  Event Center. The format is 7 rounds Swiss with a time control of 15 minutes plus two-second increments.
Prizes are P3,000 plus trophy, P2,000 and P1,000 to the top three placers, while the best female finisher gets P500.
The Open category will follow on Nov. 3 and has the same format and time control as the Kiddies.
Prizes are P4,000 plus trophy, P3,000, P2,000 for the top three placers and P500 for the top lady finisher.
Registration is P150 for the kiddies and P200 for the Open event. For details, contact 09336642958.
On Nov. 7 and 8, the B.C. Hortelano Open will be held at Deep Blue in SM. The format is seven rounds Swiss with a time control of 25 minutes plus 5-second increment. Registration is P150.
Prizes are P3,000, P2,000,P1,000 for the top three placers and those who make the top 20 will also get cash prizes.
For details contact Marvin Ruelan at 09267352951.
World Championship. Watch out for the world championship match between champion Vishy Anand of India and Magnus Carlsen of Norway, which will start Nov. 9 in Chennai ,India.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Pestaño: Physically-challenged players

Thursday, October 24, 2013

WHATEVER your status in life, do not be discouraged. Take note of the classic line, “I cried because I had no shoes until I saw one who had no feet.”
Physically challenged chess players fall into three classes--the blind,deaf and those with problems in their musculoskeletal system, some of whom are afflicted with Lou Gehrig disease. It is a disorder where one has difficulty moving and talking ,even breathing.
The International Braille Chess Association (IBCA) is an organization for blind or visually-impaired chess players. The IBCA was formed in 1948 by Reginald Walter Bonham. Today, it has over 50 member nations around the world. The IBCA hosts two major competitions: the Blind Chess Olympiad and the Blind Team World Cup.
The International Committee on Silent Chess (ICSC) was founded in 1949 in Denmark. It organizes the World Individual tournaments for deaf men and women, team and continental championships.
Last Sept. 28, Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov communicated in sign language in his opening remarks to 170 participants in the 15th ICSC Championship in Kazakhstan, which impressed his audience.
In the 2012 in Istanbul the blind placed 44th, the deaf 77th and the Physically disabled (IPCA) 93rd among 157 teams in the men’s division. In the women’s section, IPCA placed 67th, ICSC 85th and IBCA 90th among 127 teams.
A young boy who is making waves is Poland’s Lucasz Novak , who can only move his head
Indonesia Open. GM Utut Adianto,the best player Indonesia has ever produced was elected senator in 2009, not a mean feat considering that Indonesia is not known as a chess playing country.
This should serve as an inspiration for our Eugene Torre that he is a sure bet to be a senator should he be interested, considering that the Philippines has one of the highest percentage of chess players in the world.
If movie actors and other celebrities, whose intelligence are the butt of jokes, can get elected, then Eugene, who is a legend not only here but worldwide, surely can.
In just its third edition, the Indonesia Open has already established itself as the premier international chess event in Southeast Asia and is one of the top tournaments in Asia with prizes totaling $100,000. I am sure that Adianto is mainly responsible for this.
Despite the presence of most of our top players, except Wesley So, our performance was a disaster. The best placer was Darwin Laylo at 25th and Oliver Barbosa at 28th.
Alexey Dreev snared the first prize of $20,000. Alexander Moiseenko was second and Nigel Short third. Antoaneta Stefanova won the women’s category, taking home $3,000.
One hundred and eight played, including 38 GMs and 21 IMs from Oct. 9-18.
Cepca. Maggi Dionson, Peterson Sia and Romy Pialan tied for first with four points in our monthly tournament at Handuraw Pizza Lahug but Maggi was declared winner via tiebreak.
Since Maggi and Peterson already qualified for the grand finals, Romy became the qualifier for October.
Maggi is a geodetic engineer, real estate broker and appraiser and PRC-accredited real estate reviewer, lecturer and speaker.
New members of the club are Jimmy Te, 27, a civil engineering graduate of Eastern Visayas University in Tacloban and like most Cepca members, started to play at a very young age.
Romy Pialan is a registered electrical engineer and also a chess trainer.
Mark Philip Caburubias is a licensed electronic engineer and a graduate of Eastern Visayas University. He is currently working at Lear Corporation in Mepza II as a Hardware Development Engineer.
Carlo Maraat is a CPA working at the Department of Budget and Management Region 7.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Pestaño: Machines that play chess in pre-PC era

Thursday, October 17, 2013

BEFORE the advent of chess computers, there were also chess playing “machines” in the 18th and 19th centuries. The most famous were the “Turk”, ”Ajeeb” and “Mephisto.”
The Turk was a fake chess-playing machine constructed in the late 18th century. From 1770 until its destruction by fire in 1854, it was exhibited by various owners as an automaton, though it was exposed in the early 1820s as an elaborate hoax.
Constructed and unveiled in 1770 by Wolfgang von Kempelen to impress the Empress Maria Theresa of Austria, the mechanism appeared to be able to play a strong game of chess against a human opponent.
The Turk was in fact a mechanical illusion that allowed a human chess master hiding inside to operate the machine. It played and defeated many challengers, including statesmen such as Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin.
Napoleon was one of the world’s worst losers and, true to form, he tried to cheat the machine by making illegal moves, He also tried to upset the machine with an enormous magnet. Despite these efforts , he was soundly beaten and it is reported he threw the chessmen off the board and stormed out of the room shouting “Bagatelle.”
Another celebrated automaton was Ajeeb, constructed by Englishman Charles Alfred Hooper in the 1860s. Among its famous opponents whom it soundly defeated were the critic John Ruskin, the later King Edward VII, the Princess of Wales and Prince Leopold.
Peter Hill, one of Ajeeb’s operators, was twice attacked. A lady stabbed him with a hairpin and an angry Westerner shot him,wounding Hill on the shoulder.
Among the celebrities who played Ajeeb were Admiral Dewey, Teddy Roosevelt, Houdini, Sarah Bernhardt and O’Henry.
The third of the famous automatons was Mephisto, constructed by Charles Gumpel. Unlike Ajeeb and the Turk, the operator was in an adjacent room. The moves were transmitted electro-mechanically.
Mehisto participated in tournaments and even founded its own chess club.
Cepca results. Our lady journalist KC Morala sent in this report.
“NM Merben Roque and Rhenzi Kyle Sevillano finished tied for the top in the 23rd Cepca Chess Anniversary Open held in SM City Cebu Entertainment Center last Oct. 12 and 13.
Roque defeated eight opponents before losing in the final round against Eden Diano in the nine-round tournament.
Meanwhile, 14-year-old Sevillano wrapped up an astounding victory against Rogelio Enriquez, Jr. in the last round to finish with a tie with his former USC coach Roque at eight points.
Having beaten the chess prodigy in the sixth round, Roque secured his champion’s trophy and won P7,000 while Kyle settled for P5,000 and another P700 for winning the Kiddies section.
Diano was solo third placer at 7.5 points.
The rest of the top 20 were Richard Natividad, Bryll Arellano, Edsel Montoya, Ramil Wadim, Leonardo Alidani, Rogelio Enriquez, Jr, Joel Pacuribot, Glicerio Pardillo, Jr., Yves Fiel, Erwin Ababat, Felix Shaun Balbona, Bonn Tibod, Mark Mangubat, Michael Pinar, Allan Pason, Mark Sy, and Michael Pagaran.
Top Cepcans were Carlo Maraat, Peterson Sia and Jimmy Ty, Jr., while Leonardo Alidani, Erwin Ababat and Carlos Moreno III were the Top Seniors. Yves Fiel, Felix Shaun Balbona, and Allan Pason were the top juniors players and Laila Nadera, Airene Robillos and Quennie Cablao were the top ladies players.
This event was sponsored by Cepca and Rose Pharmacy Inc. A total of 156 players took part in the tournament.”
Cepca honorary member Mayor Mike Rama was the guest of honor and gave an inspirational talk.
Monthly tournament. Our tournament for October will be this Sunday at 1 pm in Handuraw Lahug.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pestaño: A chess playing dog?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

WHAT? Believe it or not, a dog was once entered in a chess tournament in London. This is a true story, so read on.
Before the war, the most prestigious chess club in England was the Brighton Chess Club. One of its members was an aristocratic lady, Mrs. Sidney, who always brought
with her her inseparable companion,a dog affectionately called Mick.
The club members met and played in the elite Royal Pavilion built for George IV while he was Prince Regent and one of the strict rules was that no dogs were allowed.
The club secretary, fearful of the old crone’s wrath, pretended not to notice her canine companion and tolerated its presence. The other members of the club also did not object.
However, a new secretary was appointed and insisted to Mrs. Sidney that her dog must not be allowed to enter the club’s premises. There was an exchange of harsh words from the old crone and eventually a compromise was agreed upon. Mick was to be elected a full member but Mrs. Sidney must pay the membership fee and annual dues.
Sometime later, the club was scheduled to play a friendly match with another chess club. The team captain noticing a new member on the list, Mr. Mick, decided to include
him in the team to give him some match experience.
The result? Mr. Mick lost on time and the story goes that his opponent was an expert on the Collie System, not knowing that his opponent would be a dog. This true story comes from the book, the Complete Chess Addict.
Battle of GMs. John Paul Gomez and Woman International Master elect Janelle Mae Frayna dominated their divisions in the 2013 Battle of Grandmasters which ended last Monday at the Philippine Sports Commission Conference Room.
Here are the final scores: Men’s division. Gomez, Barbosa (30 points), Laylo (26.5); Antonio (25.5), Barcenilla (22.5), Paragua (21.5), Pimentel, Bitoon, E. Senador, Torre (18), Nava, Salcedo III (16.5), Reyes (7.5), Habla (4.5).
WOMEN: Frayna (34.5), Enriquez, Perena (27.0), Mendoza (25.5), Docena, Mejia (21.0), Mendoza, A. Lozano, L. Bermundo, B. Galas (18.0), R. Jose (15.0), Romero (11.0), Cabrera (4.5).
Gomez and Barbosa split the combined prize of P240,000 for the top two finishers. Laylo snared P75,000, while Antonio won P50,000 and Barcenilla P40,000.
In the women’s play, Frayna went home with the top prize of P50,000.
The event used the Torre-Pichay scoring system, a method formulated by Torre and National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) president/chairman Prospero “Butch” Pichay, Jr. where a win is equivalent to three points, a draw is 1.5 points and a loss is zero. A stalemate is 2.0 for the last player to make a move and 1.0 to the player who can no longer make a move.
Cepca tournament. One of the biggest tournaments for this year is the 23rd cepca Open, on Oct. 12 and 13 at SM City in the Entertainment Center at 1030 a.m.
Format will be nine rounds Swiss with a time control of 25 minutes plus 5-second increments. Registration is P200 and P100 for kiddies and ladies at site.
Total prizes is P32,000 with P7,000 going to the champion plus trophy. There will be prizes up to 20th place.
Special prizes will also be awarded to the top 3 winners in the Senior category (50 above),Juniors (16-20), Ladies,Kiddies (15 below) and children (10 years and under) and also the top three Cepca members.
Major sponsors are Boojie Lim of Rose Pharmacy, Julie`s Bakeshop ,Jemar Engineering services and a host of Cepca members.
For more info please contact: Marvin Ruelan(09267352951) or Jun Olis (09232629642).

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Pestaño: A $1-M chess match between Manny, Floyd?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

THE Cebu Executives and Professionals Chess Association will be celebrating its 23rd anniversary with a nine-round Swiss Active tournament at the Entertainment Plaza in SM CITY-Cebu on Oct. 12 and 13 at 10:30 am. This tournament will be Fide-rated.
Registration is P200 for regular players and P100 for ladies and kiddies.
The champion will get P7,000 and a trophy, while the second placer will get P5,000.
The third to fifth placers will get P3,000, P2,000 and P1,000. The sixth to 10th placers will get P500 each, while the 11th to 15th placers will get P400 each. The 16th to 20th placers will get P300 each.
There will also be special prizes for the Top 3 finishers among the seniors (50 above), juniors, ladies, kiddies and kids.
The total prizes are P30,400 and for more info you may contact Marvin Ruelan (09267352951) or Jun Olis (09232629642). Registration will be on site or by sending a text message to Ruelan or Olis.
The club was founded in 1990 by two close friends---myself and Art Ynclino. Our initial recruits were my brother Danny, Sonny Sollano, Alex Tolentino, Loy Minoza , Nicnic Climaco and Gerry Tomakin.
Danny, Sonny, Loy and Gerry have passed away and so also did our first honorary member, Bombi Aznar.
We have about 120 members and 6 honorary members--Boojie Lim, Kelly Uy, Darcy Tabotabo, Andrew Aznar ,former Mayor Alvin Garcia and current Mayor Michael Rama. Some foreigners have returned to their respective countries while some members have migrated to the USA and Canada .
Mayweather. Everybody knows this guy. He is undefeated as a professional boxer and a five-division world champion and has won eight world titles .
He is avoiding our Manny Pacquiao like the plague and their fight, if realized, will be one of the most significant fights in boxing history.
Unknown to many, Floyd is also an avid chess player like Pacquiao and recently made headlines in various chess websites because of what happened in San Francisco.
According to a news release “It’s not often that a 93-year-old, a trapeze artist, a kid from the Sunnydale projects, and a DJ from a gentlemen’s club can find something in common. But if you’ve ever been to Fifth and Market in downtown San Francisco, you know that the intersection is one place where this was possible. That’s where people of all walks of life have been playing chess since the 1980s.”
The chess games were busted up by the San Francisco Police Department a few weeks ago after what the authorities said were an average of 100 complaints a month. The police took the boards, the chess pieces, the tables and chairs.
Store owners complained that their businesses were negatively affected by the street activity
SFPD Capt. Michael Redmond told the San Francisco Business Times that the games were used to disguise illegal activities that included drug sales, illegal gambling and “barbecues on the street.” But there was no mention in any of the media stories about violent incidents, robberies or anyone’s safety being threatened as a result of their presence.
Commenting on the popular “Colbert Report” about the incident in San Francisco, Floyd says “There are always going to be some bad apples in the chess board but for kids in a tough neighborhood chess is the only way out .I love chess…it teaches you tactics, skill and creativity,”
Mayweather also says that chess helps you succeed in life and the game keeps him 10
steps ahead of his opponents in defense and offence.
I have a message for Floyd .If you don’t want to fight Pacquiao in the ring, how about a chess match with Pacquiao for a bet of say, a million dollars? It’s just loose change for you both.